Changing the quad for the better

Students coming together to take the first steps into making the quad the “living room” of campus

Tree planted in the quad Friday (Loren Chavez/Lariat)

Approximately 150 volunteers came together in the quad Friday morning to plant 70 trees in hopes of creating a more inviting and lush space for campus.

Organized by the architecture department, the event drew in volunteers for all kinds of reasons. For some, it was extra credit, for others, the idea that their work would be rooted in our campus for decades. Karol Gore, one of the project managers, wanted to give back to the campus and thought this was a great way of doing so.

“I think the people on this campus are amazing,” Gore said. “The good-heartedness of people that want to come out and invest in something that doesn’t have to do with them is beautiful.”

Those who came together to plant these trees felt a sense of comradery and connectivity. Even if they all had a different tree to plant, just seeing one another working together to accomplish this goal brought them closer. Sterling Walbrink and Madison Stier attested to this.

“We went to high school together, so reuniting by planting this tree was a lot of fun,” Walbrink said.

“My favorite part has been seeing everyone come together and work on a project and work towards something good,” said Steir.

Ruth Rodriquez-Dominguez and Berenice Ramirez, both architecture students, came out because they were passionate about seeing a change in our school and exciting to create lasting memories with people they had never met.

“Engaging with students we’ve never met has been great,” said Ramirez

“Seeing everyone come together to do something great has really inspired me,” said Rodriguez-Dominguez.

There were so many volunteers that they ran out of shovels to hand out. The turnout surprised the organizers such as Blake Stephens, the Architecture and Drafting Technology Department Chair, but they were grateful nonetheless to have all the hands they could get.

“After doing multiple projects like this, I am always pleasantly surprised by the turnout,” Stephens said.

Stephens’s vision is to make the quad the “living room” of campus, similar to UCLA or the University of Redlands, with their beautiful trees as staples of their campuses. Although it will take years for the trees to become fully grown out, planting these trees has set the foundation for a livelier quad.

Whether the volunteers were rewarded with extra credit, community service hours, or their name tagged on a tree; everyone took time out of their day to make a change on campus. With patience, they will see their contribution grow into a vital part of campus.